FF: Making Lemonade from Life’s Lemons

Welcome to another Frabjous Friday, where we gather to celebrate our successes and have fun!

I met Corey Neylan when she visited during the Critique Week I held to celebrate Romance Writers on the Journey’s second anniversary. She shared the following story with me in an email, and I was struck by her positive outlook and reminder of the importance of laughter. I invited her to share the tale with you.

Corey is a new writer who is eager to learn from those who have been at it a while, so feel free to share your best writing tips with her in the comments.

If you have good news to celebrate, let us know so we can join in your happy dance.

And now, here’s Corey . . .

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Making Lemonade from Life’s Lemons

By Corey Neylan

Five years ago, my car was stolen while I was doing volunteer work at a preschool in a cruddy part of town. I consoled myself by thinking that the chances of anything like that happening to me again would be slim – like the probability of getting struck by lightning twice. I just wouldn’t tempt fate by parking in bad areas.

Last year, I parked in a spot directly outside my townhouse in my nice, generally crime-free suburb. I woke up the next morning to find all four of the wheels removed from my two-year-old Honda.

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It was a shocking way to start my day and, as people drove off to work and gawked, I remember several thoughts occurring to me in quick succession: This is not good. This is embarrassing. This will be expensive.

And then I laughed. My car, the car I fondly refer to as a “micro-machine,” looked even more like a child’s toy than usual with its nose on the pavement and its butt in the air. There was a distinct element of the ridiculous to it, and I had to laugh. What else was there to do? It was just a car. I’d survive. Being upset and unhappy and angry would be easy, but it wouldn’t put wheels back on my car, and it wouldn’t help me get through what was shaping up to be a long day.

I tend to live my life this way – laughing when I can or letting go of anger when there’s no point in it – but as a brand new writer, I’ve found it more difficult to apply this attitude to my writing life. It’s harder to let go of the guilt that comes from not writing as much as I should be, or the frustration of a plot-line that won’t work and a character who remains aloof. But when things get really bad, when the wheels in my head haven’t just stopped turning but have been stripped away leaving me lop-sided and out of sorts – on those days especially, I try to remember to laugh. It’s just a story. I’ll survive. But… this is definitely shaping up to be a long day!

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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10 Responses to FF: Making Lemonade from Life’s Lemons

  1. Diane says:

    Great story! I would have been embarrassed and calculating how much it would be to fix it too. Good luck on your writing!!! :O)

  2. Thanks for the story Corey. We are kindred spirits. My grown son affectionately calls me a Pollyanna. But our writing life can be different, can’t it? I have a set time that I write everyday. But some times life gets in the way. When that happens, you just have to pick it up tomorrow and let today be today. Catch a few minutes when you can and consider the day a success. Easier to say than do but easier the longer you are at it. I think it’s important to be as rigid with your writing time as possible though. Don’t let just any old thing take it away. But if you absolutely can’t help it then don’t fret. Good luck with your writing.

    • Corey Neylan says:

      Thanks for the advice, Brenda! “Let today be today” is particularly useful and reminds me of a quote I used to have posted at my desk as an angsty teenager: “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” (Attributed to Emerson, but no one seems to know for sure.)

      My mother has referred to me as “Pollyanna” on a couple of occasions, too. 🙂 Here’s to finding silver linings!

  3. Susan Mason says:

    Thanks for this funny story complete with picture! Laughter is so important, but sometimes it’s hard to come by. Especially when bad things pile up on you!

    Thanks for the reminder to not take life so seriously.

    Cheers,

    Sue

  4. Corey, What a great perspective on life. I love that you can laugh when such horrible things happen.

    My house was broken into once. A friend of mine asked me what was stolen that I wanted back. Well most of it was junk but there were a few family treasures. He prayed for the thieves and they were caught within hours. I received all the things I asked for. Now that was something to praise God about.

    When teaching, I would tell that story. Never once had anything stolen from me in the classroom. LOL

    • Corey Neylan says:

      Great story, Sandra. 🙂 Glad you got back all the family pieces you treasured! (And way to inspire such a lack of sticky fingers!)

  5. You have taken the old adage to a new, sweeter level. I am sure you could make lemonaide, lemon pudding and lemon meringue pie.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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